HC Deb 21 February 1921 vol 138 cc528-9

asked the Minister of Transport the net revenue for 1913 and 1920, respectively, of the railways under the control of the Government; what is the amount of the subsidy for 1920; when it is proposed to cease control of the railways by the Government; and what steps are proposed to be taken to restore the railways to their pre-War net revenue earning basis?


The final figures for December, 1920, are not yet available. The "net receipts" of the controlled railway companies of the United Kingdom in 1913, which are the basis of the guarantee, amounted to £47,400,000. The war-time arrangements between the railway undertakings and the Government terminate on the 14th August next, but the companies are pressing for an extension of the period. The future of railways, as indicated in His Majesty's Speech from the Throne, will be the subject of legislative proposals in this Session.


When does the right hon. Gentleman think he will have the net receipts for 1920 available?


I think before long. I may explain that the figures which are published are not the actual balance of operations of the year or month. They include back payments dating right back to 1914—payments which ought to have been made in 1914—so that no accurate information as to how the railways are operating can be obtained from the figures.